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[Thatsmags] Scam Artist Uses WeChat to Steal 1 Million RMB from Guangdong Women

20 Aug 2016 9:14 AM | Anonymous

On August 18, police from Yingde, Guangdong, arrested a teenager suspected of scamming more than RMB1 million from women he added on WeChat. According to the police, the 19-year-old Mr. Huang had amassed the money by inventing various stories about being in need, prompting his victims in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Yingde to send him cash via WeChat hongbao or money transfers.

One woman in Yingde finally tipped off police to what was happening. Also surnamed Huang, she was one of the 19-year-old’s most recent victims, losing over RMB160,000 to his machinations.

After receiving her tipoff near the beginning of July, Yingde police began investigating Mr. Huang. They tracked down his location to Tianhe District in Guangzhou, and on August 18, apprehended and transported him back to Yingde.

There, further questioning revealed that the suspect came from Huilai County, in Jieyang, a city in Southeast Guangdong. Huang turned 19 this year and, possibly because of his lucrative side-business, is currently unemployed.

Although reports say that he's not particularly attractive in person, on the internet Huang created a new persona for himself: an exotic overseas returnee who had studied abroad.

Police said he used online dating sites as a platform to find women and add them on WeChat. After doing so, he’d fabricate various stories to get cash out of them, WeChat’s convenience making it all too easy for victims to hand over money.

Ms. Huang revealed the details of her own encounter with the scammer while aiding police in their search. Her story is a prime example of how the young Mr. Huang was able to use psychological tactics to skillfully draw out money from his victims. Although he ultimately met his downfall with this particular woman, it’s shocking to see how successful he was before being outed.

According to Ms. Huang, she first made contact with the scammer on June 20 of this year, via a dating site called Under the pseudonym Xiao Chen, he approached her, their encounter seeming innocent enough at first:

“At the beginning we didn’t talk much, later he sent a message asking me to add his WeChat, I added him. That night, late at night around 3am, he sent a message to introduce himself.”

(zhenai website)The dating website where "Xiao Chen" found Ms. Huang

It turned out Xiao Chen had a elaborate backstory: he was 26 years old, was living with his stepmom and older sister while his dad was in Thailand and he had grown up overseas, only recently returning to Guangzhou.

On June 22, Xiao Chen contacted Ms. Huang again. He said he’d had an argument with his stepmom and in the heat of the moment had driven his car out without even putting on slippers. He had nothing on him and was in a sorry state.

Ms. Huang sent a RMB168 hongbao but Xiao Chen didn’t take it, saying he didn’t need her charity. However, he kept acting pitiful and when Huang reaffirmed that she could lend him money, he asked for RMB200 for food.

Later, Xiao Chen got her phone number. He had another request: to book a hotel room and pay the deposit, he’d need another RMB2,400. Could Huang help him out? Once his father returned from Thailand, he said, he’d pay her back. Huang lent him the money.

Having hooked in his victim, Mr. Huang began to raise the stakes. Around 12am on June 24, he called her with bad news: he’d been drinking and driving when he hit a person, and the victim was demanding compensation. At first Ms. Huang was reluctant to help, but Mr. Huang kept begging, saying she was his only friend on the mainland.

Tired from the late hour, she finally caved in and sent him RMB2,200 over WeChat.

From then on it was a more or less constant stream of demands. According to Mr. Huang, at first it was the victim who wasn’t satisfied, then the police who demanded a fine. He promised Ms. Huang he’d sell off his car as soon as he could in order to pay her back, but as time passed, it seemed less and less likely to happen.

Mr. Huang began to warn her that if the issue wasn’t resolved and he was thrown in jail, he wouldn’t be able to return her money. Worried that all the cash she'd already handed over would be lost, Ms. Huang kept sending him payments, sometimes borrowing from others to do so.

On July 5, after she had handed over a sum of RMB8,900, a classmate of Ms. Huang’s came to her house for a visit. Huang confided her troubles; her friend told her she’d been scammed and to report the incident.

That night, Ms. Huang did exactly that, contacting the Yingde police. She had already lost more than RMB160,000, but Mr. Huang was still calling her to ask for more money.

Now, more than a month later, he’s finally been put in criminal detention while his case undergoes further investigation. Ironically, after spending so much time and money trying to prevent Mr. Huang from being thrown in jail, Ms. Huang played a vital role in throwing him behind bars.

After all that she went through, she concludes: “I can only say the traps of blind dating websites are very serious, everyone should be careful not to be tricked.”


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